sabato 19 marzo 2016

CHAPTER 2 IT’S NOT OUR INTELLIGENCE - The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich

CHAPTER 2 IT’S NOT OUR INTELLIGENCE - The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich - ildominiodelpianeta adattamentosenzamutazione lesploratoredisperso bambinovsscimmia rattiemanocalda

CHAPTER 2 IT’S NOT OUR INTELLIGENCERead more at location 340
Note: 2@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
Humans have altered more than one-third of the earths’ land surface.Read more at location 342
Note: ANIMALE TRASFORMATIVO Edit
we are the ecologically dominant species on the planet.Read more at location 346
Not only did ancient hunter-gatherers expand into most of the earth’s terrestrial ecosystems, we probably also contributed to the extinction of much of its megafauna—that is, to the extinction of large vertebrates like mammoths, mastodons, giant deer, woolly rhinos, immense ground sloths, and giant armadillos, as well as some species of elephants, hippos, and lions.Read more at location 351
Note: IMPERIALISMO DEI CACCIATORI Edit
AustraliaRead more at location 355
the continent was home to a menagerie of large animals, including two-ton wombats, immense meat-eating lizards (see figure 2.1), and leopard-sized marsupial lions.Read more at location 356
Note: ESTINZIONI DOVUTE ALL UOMO Edit
loss of 88% of Australia’s big vertebrates.Read more at location 357
Americas,Read more at location 358
horses, camels, mammoths, giant sloths, lions, and dire wolves, representing a loss of over 75% of the existing megafauna.Read more at location 359
Other species have also spread widely and achieved immense ecological success; however, this success has generally occurred by speciation, as natural selection has adapted and specialized organisms to survive in different environments. Ants, for example,Read more at location 369
Note: ALTRE SPECIE DI SUCCESSO. LE FORMICHE Edit
more than 14,000 different species with vast and complicated sets of genetic adaptations.5 Meanwhile, humans remain a single speciesRead more at location 372
Note: SPECIAZIONE. NOI NN CI ADATTIAMO ALL AMBIENTE MUTANDO GENETICAMENTE Edit
We have, for example, much less genetic variation than chimpanzees and show no signs of splitting into subspecies. By contrast, chimpanzees remain confined to a narrow band of tropical African forest and have already diverged into three distinct subspecies.Read more at location 374
Note: UOMO/SCIMMIA Edit
Most would agree that it traces, at least in part, to our ability to manufacture locally appropriate tools,Read more at location 379
Note: COSA CI DISTINGUE? MOLTI PENSANO AGLI STRUMENTI Edit
Many researchers also point to our cooperative abilities and diverse forms of social organization.Read more at location 381
Note: IPOTESI DELLA COOPERAZIONE Edit
Why can’t other animals achieve this? The most common answer is that we are simply more intelligent. We have big brains with ample cognitive processing power and other souped-up mental abilitiesRead more at location 388
Note: IPOTESI IQ Edit
humans evolved “improvisational intelligence,” which allows us to formulate causal models of how the world works.Read more at location 391
Note: PINKER. L IPOTESI DELL INTELLIGENZA FLESSIBILE Edit
Note: FARE MODELLI Edit
An alternative, though perhaps complementary, view is that our big brains are full of genetically endowed cognitive abilities that have emerged via natural selection to solve the most important and recurrent problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors.Read more at location 395
Note: L IPOTESI DELL INTELLIGENZA SPECIFICA Edit
these cognitive mechanisms take in problem-specific information and deliver solutions.Read more at location 398
A third common approach to explaining our species’ ecological dominance focuses on our prosociality, our abilities to cooperate intensively across many different domains and extensively in large groups.Read more at location 403
Note: IPOTESI PRO SOCIAL Edit
However, as I’ll show, none of these approaches can explain our ecological dominance or our species’ uniqueness without first recognizing the intense reliance we have on a large body of locally adaptive, culturally transmitted information that no single individual, or even group, is smart enough to figure out in a lifetime.Read more at location 409
Note: IPOTESI INSUFFICIENTI Edit
In chapter 3, lost European explorers will teach us about the nature of our vaulted intelligence, cooperative motivations, and specialized mental abilities.Read more at location 413
Note: L ESPLORATORE DISPERSO Edit
I want to warm up by shaking your confidence on just how smart our species really is relative to other primates.Read more at location 414
Note: QUANTO PIÙ INTELLIGENTI DEGLI ALTRI Edit
our cultural learning abilities give rise to “dumb” processes that can, operating over generations, produce practices that are smarter than any individual or even group. Much of our seeming intelligence actually comes not from raw brainpower or a plethora of instincts, but rather from the accumulated repertoire of mental toolsRead more at location 419
Note: INTELLIGENZA HAYEKIANA Edit
Cultural learning refers to a more sophisticated subclass of social learning abilities in which individuals seek to acquire information from others, often by making inferences about their preferences, goals, beliefs, or strategies and/or by copying their actions or motor patterns.Read more at location 430
Note: APPRENDIMENTO CULTURALE: CAPACITÀ DI SELEZIONARE LA FONTE DA CUI APPRENDERE Edit
Showdown: Apes versus Humans Let’s begin by comparing the mental abilities of humans with two other closely related large-brained apes: chimpanzees and orangutans.Read more at location 434
Note: UOMO VS SCIMMIA Edit
it might be misleading to compare apes to fully culturally equipped adults, who, for example, know fractions.Read more at location 439
Note: PER NN BARARE Edit
researchers often compare toddlers to nonhuman apes (hereafter just “apes”).Read more at location 440
Note: BAMBINO VS SCIMMIA Edit
In a landmark study, Esther Herrmann, Mike Tomasello, and their colleagues at the Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, put 106 chimpanzees, 105 German children, and 32 orangutans through a battery of 38 cognitive tests.Read more at location 443
Note: IL TEST Edit
On all the subtests of mental abilities, except social learning, there’s essentially no difference between chimpanzees and two-and-a-half-year-old humans, despite the fact that the two-and-a-half-year-olds have much larger brains.Read more at location 453
Note: POCA DIFFERENZA TRA CERVELLI PICCOLU (SCIMMIE) E GRANDI (BIMBI) Edit
By contrast, for the social learning subtest, the averages shown in figure 2.2 actually conceal the fact that most of the two-and-a-half-year-olds scored 100% on the test, whereas most of the apes scored 0%.Read more at location 457
Note: A COPIARE I BIMBI VINCONO A MANI BASSE Edit
Interestingly, however, older apes do not generally do better on these tests than younger apes—quite unlike humans. By age three, the cognitive performances of chimpanzees and orangutans—at least in these tasks—are about as good as they get.Read more at location 463
Note: TRA LE SCIMMIE NN ESISTE IL VECCHIO SAGGIO Edit
Memory in Chimpanzees and UndergraduatesRead more at location 475
Note: MEMORIA Edit
Let’s consider first the available data comparing humans and chimpanzees in (1) working memory and information processing speed, and then in (2) games of strategic conflict.Read more at location 477
Note: MEMORIA E STRATEGIA. DOVE STACCHIAMO DI PIÙ LA SCIMMIA? Edit
If you take an intelligence test, you may hear a list of numbers and then be asked to recall those numbers in reverse order. This measures your working memory. Working memory, along with information processing speed, are often considered two of the foundations of intelligence.Read more at location 481
Note: WORKING MEMORY Edit
we might expect adult humans to significantly outperform any chimpanzees in head-to-head competition.Read more at location 487
Two Japanese researchers, Sana Inoue and Tetsuro Matsuzawa, set up just such a chimp-versus-human showdown.Read more at location 490
These chimps faced off against university students.16 For working memory, our species did well.Read more at location 496
However, when the numeral flashes got quicker and the task got tougher, Ayumu beat all the humans. Interestingly, as the flash of numbers sped up, Ayumu’s performance remained consistent whereas the humans’ performance, as well as that of the other chimps, rapidly degraded.Read more at location 500
Every chimpanzee was faster than every human, and their speed did not vary with their performance. By contrast, faster human responses tended to be less accurate.Read more at location 503
The young chimps, who actually outperformed their mothers, would probably defeat any group of young kids.Read more at location 511
the point stands that the humans did not obviously dominate their fellow apes on either working memory or information processing speed, despite our much larger brains.Read more at location 514
Note: ... MA L UOMO NN DOMINA. ANZI... Edit
The True MachiavelliansRead more at location 517
This view emphasizes that our brains and intelligence are specialized for dealing with other people and argues that our brain size and intelligence arose from an “arms race” in which individuals competed in an ever-escalating battle of wits to strategically manipulate, trick, exploit, and deceive each other.Read more at location 520
Note: L IPOTESI DELL INTELLIGENZA MACHIAVELLICA. COMPETIZONE Edit
If this is so, we should be particularly good in games of strategic conflict compared to chimpanzees.19Read more at location 522
Note: GIOCHI DI COMPETIZIONE STRATEGICA E CONOSCENZA PROFONDA Edit
To win, the first thing to realize is that both players should be as unpredictable as possible.Read more at location 535
Note: GIOCO DELL INCONTRO E CONOSCENZA PROFONDA Edit
To see this, put yourself into the shoes of the Matcher.Read more at location 536
If you deviate from 50%, your opponent will be able to exploit you more frequently. Now consider matters from the position of the Mismatcher: if you now similarly flip a coin, the Matcher will shift to play mostly L, since that gives him four instead of one. To compensate, as a Mismatcher you need to play R 80% of the time.Read more at location 539
A research team from Caltech and Kyoto University tested six chimpanzees and two groups of human adults: Japanese undergraduates and Africans from Bossou, in the Republic of Guinea. When chimpanzees played this asymmetric variant of Matching Pennies (figure 2.4), they zoomed right in on the predicted result, the Nash equilibrium. Humans, however, systematically and consistently missed the rational predictions, with Mismatchers performing particularly poorly.Read more at location 544
Note: IL GIOCO DELL INCONTRO: CROLLA L IPOTESI MACHIAVELLICA Edit
A final insight into the humans’ poor performance comes from an analysis of participants’ response times, which measures the time from the start of a round until the player selects his move.Read more at location 555
Note: TEMPI DELLA SCELTA Edit
It’s as if the humans were struggling to inhibit or suppress an automatic reaction. This pattern may reflect a broader bug in human cognition:Read more at location 557
Note: FRENARE UN ISTINTO Edit
the slower player sometimes unconsciously imitates the choice of his or her opponent.21 The reason is that we humans are rather inclined to copy—spontaneously, automatically, and often unconsciously. Chimpanzees don’t appear to suffer from this cognitive “bug,” at least not nearly to the same degree.Read more at location 563
Note: CHI VIENE DOPO IMITA Edit
I could have also tapped the vast literature in psychology and economics, which tests the judgment and decision-making of undergraduates against benchmarks from statistics, probability, logic, and rationality. In many contexts, but not all, we humans make systemic logical errors,Read more at location 568
Note: TUTTA LA LETTERATURA SUI BIAS Edit
basketball betters see certain players get the “hot-hand,” even when they are actually seeing lucky streaks that are consistent with the player’s typical scoring percentage. Meanwhile, rats, pigeons and other species don’t suffer from such reasoning fallacies,Read more at location 575
Note: I RATTI NN CREDONO NELLA MANO CALDA. ED HANNO RAGIONE
</